** We SOLD THE FARM ** as of June 2016 - we no longer have animals for sale -- this web site is here for information ONLY ..
We no longer have our herd of Highland cattle. but the inforamtion will remain here as a reference for those interested in the breed.
Our Scottich Highland Herd Bull:
Starting out with a nice bull is always helpful; this mild mannered breed was selected years back to pull wagons, carts and plows. Ours however just eat and enjoy life here at Absent Jack Acres.
Fozzy (SOLD) is still here and will be used to cover the cows for one more season. His replacement is in a back pen, safely tucked away and awaits his time with the cows next summer.
Confirmation; we couldn't ask for better then what Fozzy has to offer, well balanced all the way around. He is not to heavy in the hip or shoulder with a very nice even set of horns. He is small but not miniature as you can see he stand shoulder to shoulder to cows but weighs in naturally more.
He is far from cuddly but approachable, he is easy to manage and respectful towards humans.
Our Scottish Highland Cow's:
Eck has a black haired muzzle (Sold) and very even horn set. She is nicely balanced and well built; she is more friendly then the others, at times enjoying to have her back scratch and brush.
Sometimes Eck can be a bit more friendly then I personally like, she is more brave when it comes to being close. I know that one swift cow kick can put me in a cast but she doesn't understand that of course. I carry a lunge whip with me when I grain to keep her at a safe distance just in case.
Lucy (sold) standing very proud and alert. Isn't she a handsome cow? This picture was taken on the last day of October 2010 and these girls look amazing and the hair is really starting to grow; preparing them for those long hours standing in blizzard conditions that they are so well designed for.
These silly animals LOVE the snow storms in Nebraska. Negative wind chills... No big deal. Our herd stand or lays out in the freezing winds chew their cuds like it was a spring day.
Lucy is a little more stand offish and at a distance she and Eck look just alike with the exception of the horn set. Lucy's left horn drops more then then her right. Also her muzzle is red in pace of the large amount of black hairs as Eck shows.
Last but not least is Pacer -(Sold) Pacer is just Pacer. She is shy and smaller then the other cows; she has a simple look in he eyes that makes her special.
What can I say. But she rounds out the small foundation herd at Absent Jack Acres and we are thrilled to have them.
**** We no longer have any Highland Cattle. It was a hard decission but with the limited space and high demand from such a large animal we just could not keep them.
It was important to us to know that they were healthy & happy. ****
Below: I know you can't see her - but in between these two big beautiful Scottish Highland Cows is one little 3 week old calf. In the next photo the cows part and you can see Dusti!
Little Dusti is growing like a weed!
She had learned to be with her Auntie Eck who was due to calve anytime in the picture.
more picture to come.
Dusti - heifer calf -
After Dusti, Eck gave birth to a very nice bull calf we named Fuzbutton's - the following photo is the most current picture of Dusti on the left and Fuzbutton on the right. They are growing nicely and love to race in the pasture.
Aren't they the cuties little things when they are young. Oh My!
I was told that in Scotland these hairy cattle are actually called Muckle Coos; roughly translated comes out be be something like Big Cow. They are, but not really; far from huge like the meat high breds of the feed lots here in Nebraska and else where in the country. Our herd are medium build I would say.
They do come in a miniature size, some as small as 38" tall to the shoulder, but ours are a bit bigger much like the original cattle from the old country.
Our 3 year old bull named Fozzy is about 1200 lbs more or less and growing. And sports a nice balance pair of gently curved out stretched horns.
These animals are very lean when butcherd. The low fat content in the meat is because they don't need the extra layers to keep themselves warm. Don't let the thought of less fat make you think the meat is not as good; oh far from it.
With the grass fed movement and families looking for hormone free, healthier cuts of meats for the table this is a breed that you may want to consider. They are easy to care for, gain on pasture or hay and required minimal care.
When the meat is properly aged they are one of the best grass fed cuts you can fined off the market hands down.
A strong breed and easy keepers. Our small herd will lay in the open during a blizzard; happy and content, chewing their cuds as if on a spring day. They however do not care for extreme heat and require protection from the summer sun more then old man winter, so a simple shade shelter is about all you need for them for year around comfort.
Highland Highlights: Scottish Highland cattle were originally brought to United States and used as Oxen to pull wagons to the West.
Often mis-identified and called Yak's, Highlanders are not Yak's. It is however easy to see why someone would mistake the two species. Looking at this black Yak (pictured to the left); "Bos grunniens, of the Tibet region of China".
They do resemble one another only because they are hairy and have horns. Side by side, make not mistake; Highland Cattle and Yaks are not related.
Highland Cattle are very mild mannered bovine; they were extremely versatile in the every day demands on the farm by settlers in many regions for pulling plows, providing milk and also for their meat. A hardy animal that is resilient, durable and designed to survive the extreme conditions found in the Scottish Highlands they now can be found in nearly every state and can offer both function and conversation.
We enjoy being different, our small herd of Highlanders make us smile and often stop traffic by catching the eye of those passing by; prompting unexpected visitors from time to time, picture taking and finger pointing.
Miniature Highland Cattle: Although our herd are not miniatures, there are miniatures available in this breed, some are very, very small but there are not very many located here in the U.S. yet. The cross breeding with smaller breeds such as Dexters and then selective line breeding to continue the gene has lead to the smallest of the get with a huge price tag.
Don't get taken by what you think may be a miniature, Ormand Valley Highland Fold in Gisborne, New Zealand has a web page with a great chart you need to know about. Use it to be sure your purchase is a miniature or not. Cattle are measure to the point of the hip bone and not to the wither or shoulder like the horse world and all the work that Ormand Valley has put in to the chart is well worth admiring. http://www.purehighlands.co.nz/miniature.html
HAY FEEDER: Depending on your plans to feed either large rounds or small square bales of hay; Horned stock will always have an issue when using a hay feeder. For round bales, a horse safe round bale feeder is okay but they are light weight, and the shoulder bars are often too tall for cattle to get their head into and once the bovine can become injured by another member of the herd that wants that spot; and more then likely they will destroy the feeder. Regular round bale feeder rings don't work with horned stock; so look for something strong, safe & functional is a must.
It's a good idea to have a heavy feeder that can't be pushed around like a toy; cattle are never easy on fences and equipment and this breed is no exception. The feeder pictures here was made by a guy outside Papillion, NE. in his shop. A couple of 55 gal steel drum serve as trays and he went from there. It was a perfect find for out herd.
Horns are also an issue when it comes to fences and working with them, a common squeeze chute or alley isn't an option either as they become mature, vetting them can be a challenge. So be prepared to be creative as the time will come that you will need to confine or manage them.
It's better to make them approachable for using the modern pour on products available from your local veterinarian, we have found that it is so much easier to walk up to them every day and not make it a big deal.
SUMMER TIME IDEA: Something else to consider is a barn fan for the summer months. Depending on where you live you may not need anything like this at all; but in Nebraska the summer days can be torture. Heat is not the issue it is the humidity that will take the life of any animal if they don't have a place to get out of the sun and a little air movement is a huge plus.
We have a large barn fan 38" blade that runs 24/7 during the summer, it helps circulate even if it's only moving hot air, the animals know it's there and frequently stand in front of it panting. So we know it dose something good for them.
Be sure to have it out of there reach, the fan in the picture is on a work shop table in the barn and there are corral panels that separate the cattle away from that side of the barn.
COOL CLEAN WATER: The next thing we have in the barn is the water tank. It seems to stay cleaner longer, there is less algae growth when it is out of direct sun light as well as staying cooler longer; a simple pond pump with at rubber hose moves and circulates the water to prevent issues with mosquito's. With the aerator it would be possible to add a few gold fish if desired to eat other bug larva that may water hatch.
Note the electrical connection is sleeved through a plastic PVC pipe and the unit is in the far corner away from horns that could hook and pull the unit out of the tank. Fire danger is always possible no matter how safe you think it is; take it to the next level and make it safer, there is no such thing as idiot proof - when you think it is someone will builds a better idiot.